Sunday, June 4, 2017

North To You by Tif Marcelo

Rating: ★★★★ | 300 Pages | Pocket Star | Contemporary | 6/5/2017
When food truck owner Camille Marino (literally) runs into her old high school crush, Army lieutenant Drew Bautista, on a wild San Francisco night their passion for each other re- ignites instantly. But when Camille’s food truck unknowingly becomes enemy number one of Drew’s father’s Filipino restaurant their relationship might just go up in flames.

Oh and Drew is about to be deployed to Iraq in 30 days...

This debut novel from Tif Marcelo is a sweet, fun and heartfelt romance that delivers on everything it promises. Hot army hero ? Check. Lot of delicious food descriptions ? Check. San Francisco regional specificity ? Check. I really appreciated that Marcelo’s 25-years-old characters read like actual 25-year-olds with their pop culture references and the way they used social media.

Fair warning this romance is in first person which was a good fit for the book,  but I know is a turn off for some romance readers. Also, while it isn’t a total fade to black situation, Marcelo doesn’t linger on details and the love scenes tend to cut out before things get really hot and heavy.

I’ve read a lot of books over my last few years of blogging and I have never read a Filipino character let alone a Filipino romantic hero.  I'm glad to see more diversity in romance and  hope we get more books like this in the future !


I did kind of side-eye how the publisher had every Filipino word or dish was in italics and had an explanatory comma. It felt awkward to have Drew’s first person narrative pause and explain, even though there is a lot of context. It’s especially an odd choice because there wasn’t the same amount of spoon feeding for military jargon.

*ARC provided by NetGalley